On how we celebrated Greek Easter

Greek dishes are often plant-based and very varied, but come Easter, the most important celebration of the year, the exact opposite becomes true. The Easter menu boils (or, in fact, roasts) down to one thing only: meat. The schools close for two weeks around the holiday period and families begin preparing the house and the animals for the feast. Our hosts planned to slaughter three sheep — we had known them since coming here. We weren’t entirely thrilled with the idea but at the same time … Read more On how we celebrated Greek Easter

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Greek Lent, or when moussaka and tzatziki are a no-no

Isn’t it interesting how humanity introduces limitations or bans and then immediately gives in to its hedonistic nature and breaks them, finds a way around them or submits to the cravings as soon as the ban is over? Religious fasts seem to me good examples of this. In Turkey, during the Ramadan, we watched in fascination scores of people sitting at laden tables waiting with anticipation for the signal that the sun had set down and then, as if the starting gun had gone off, … Read more Greek Lent, or when moussaka and tzatziki are a no-no

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When good people dream

We are cycling to the south of Crete to visit Joanna and Prodromos, a couple we’ve met through the local farmers’ coop. First twenty-five kilometers or so are a slow climb higher and higher. Later we’ll enjoy an amazing downhill ride in the three dimensional landscape of layers upon layers of hills, with valleys in between. Somewhere along the way, after crossing the magic border between the north and the south, with the passing time it gets more and more hot. When we reach the main … Read more When good people dream

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Citrus love

Some dream of riches, others of world domination. I am happy with moving from place to place with walks out of the house to pick something edible in between. Preferably my beloved fruit. A quick trip to the garden to obtain some oranges straight from the tree is my idea of paradise. So, in the paradise we are. Since December, our main staple when it comes to fruit is oranges. We still haven’t had enough! We are also surprised how long the season is – even now in … Read more Citrus love

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In a rut in paradise

On Crete we found a perfect place to put down roots, at least for a while. We volunteer and live outside a tiny village called Ano Kalesa, which lies about 15 km from the city of Heraklion. As the name suggests (ano in Greek means ‘above’) we live on a hill. This part of the island looks like an accordion wall: parallel hills stretch for kilometers, canyons in between them. Every window and the surroundings offer spectacular views: the sea, the olive groves around, other … Read more In a rut in paradise

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Greek “spoon sweets” – a recipe for bitter oranges in sweet syrup

The first time we’ve tried these in Cyprus, from where I’ve also brought a jar of heavenly walnuts. They were made using whole, green, young nuts, whose shells hadn’t hardened yet. “Spoon sweets” (γλυκό του κουταλιού, glyko tou koutaliou) or fruit cooked in syrup, are intensive sweets eaten in small amounts, traditionally served on a spoon to greet guests. Even though they can be found outside of Greece as well — we were able to try them in other Balkan countries — here they can be … Read more Greek “spoon sweets” – a recipe for bitter oranges in sweet syrup

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Our small Greek life on north Evia

Evia is a large island near Athens that miraculously avoided the influx of foreign tourists. Nevertheless, it’s a popular destination for Greek holidaymakers. When looking at the breathtaking, alpine scenery of north Evia, the first thought that comes to my mind is ‘space’, or maybe ‘volume’. This can be felt throughout the spacious valleys sprawled among several mountains ranges. Cliffs and ruddy lichens resembling the Scottish landscapes can also be found there, as well as small seaside towns that ring typically Greek. And there’s also hot springs, with … Read more Our small Greek life on north Evia

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On how we produced 50 kilos of olive oil with Lima’s help

Near the end of our Asian trip, when we were already saturated with the local food, I started missing bread, cheese and olives. The strong craving for olives could not be satisfied in the Laotian countryside! As it happens, it became the seed of our next journey. Even though the yearning lost its power somewhere along the way, we were excited to spend the winter in Greece, especially because of the opportunity to see the olive harvest. Our knowledge on the subject was nonexistent and the first … Read more On how we produced 50 kilos of olive oil with Lima’s help

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I want to workaway, or about how we helped out at Lefkada

Have you already heard about sites like WWOOF, Workaway or Helpex? We’ve been planning to use one of these for a long time and I can’t tell why we managed to do it only recently. It’s all based on the idea of cultural exchange, connecting people who need helpers with travellers willing to do some work. At the same time we can have an opportunity to learn more about the country we’re visting, learn the language and immerse ourselves in the local way of living. In exchange … Read more I want to workaway, or about how we helped out at Lefkada

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